Re: Attention Deficit Disorder

Cal Eastman (shiva@FREENET1.SCRI.FSU.EDU)
Sat, 23 Apr 1994 08:38:46 18000

> Douglass,
> I have read your posts on the Fay case. At this time, I am uncertain of
> my own opinion on this issue. However, I did want to respond to your
> question about ADD. Before I go on, please let me make it clear that I
> do not feel that ADD absolves a person of responsibility for her/his actions.
> However, one of the primary symptoms of ADD is poor impulse control.
> What this typically means with teenagers (I know this as a mother of an
> ADD teen, and from readings in general) is that they get caught up in the
> energy and excitement of the moment, and may actually lose their ability
> to make good sound judgements. I personally feel that ADD kids are at
> greater risk where peer pressure is concerned. However, at age 17 or 18,
> the child should have been in treatment (especially if they have been
> officially diagnosed), and should have greater insight to her/his
> problem. Thus, the child should have learned by this age how to monitor
> oneself. But, as a mom of an ADD teen, I know it does not always work
> out this way.
> I hope this answers your questions. By the way, I always hold my
> daughter accountable for her actions, regardless of her ADD. I think I
> would maintain this philosophy even if she broke the law. I must stress
> that I think I would, but fortunately have not had to test this stance.
> Shelia

I probably have a mild case of ADD. I refuse to be "cured" as this is
not a psychological disease, but a cultural one. Brain states can be
mapped on a bell curve. Society defines a narrow strip in the middle
of the curve as "normal." However it is only at the edges of the curve
do we find brain states that are actually non-viable. This leaves many
people in a "grey area"- They are functional, but not within the
societally defined boundries called "normal". In a society that might
not value holding a 9 to 5 as the ultimate in in life scripts, that
prefers humor and individuality over obedience and conformity
might not define people with add as in need of a cure, but as valuable
members of the society- because of teh very types of behavior "we"
define as "symptoms". Many who have had ritalin treatments, ets, for
ADD have said things such as- well im more able to focus on my job,
but i feel like a less compelling, less open personality.I seem to
have some of my sense of humor.etc." I recall when i was in my 20's
and my mother (an MD) was worried about the possibility of my ADD (at
the time the papers and the journals both were full of reports on the
"condition"). Im an artist, and we were in the museum together. We
were looking at a van gogh and i told my mom " look at this mans work"
today we would define him as schizophrenic, put him away and "cure"
him so he could hold down a postal job." I added that if i were to
ever have something hangimng in the MOMA like that, it would not be
due to any ritalin treatments.

Boom shiva
mahalinga nataraj
(puffiness 4evah)